GWADAR: Saudi Minister for Energy, Industry and Minerals Khalid Abdul Aziz D. Al Falih arrived here today with a delegation to inspect the land allocated for a proposed oil refinery.
Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Ghulam Sarwar Khan speaking on the occasion said state-of-the-art oil refinery was the biggest investment project of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan.
He added that during the visit of Saudi crown prince to Pakistan next month MoU apropos the oil refinery will also be signed.
Relevant Piece 1: A delegation of Saudi Arabia arrived here today to inspect the site for the proposed oil refinery at the deep seaport city, the ultimate destination of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan received the delegation, which was led by Saudi Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Abdul Aziz D Al Falih. Ghulam Sarwar Khan said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were enjoying cordial relations. Describing the refinery a ‘state-of-the-art facility’, he said it would the biggest investment of the Saudi government in Pakistan, for which a Memorandum of Understanding was expected to be signed next month. Chief Executive Officer of Aramco Associates Company Al Buainain Ibrahim Qassim was also part of the delegation.
Relevant Piece 2) Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry, Prince Engineer Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih on Saturday said Saudi Arabia would make a historic investment in Pakistan. Mutual cooperation of Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia on Gwadar Port, which was located in an important region, would be exemplary, he said during a meeting here with Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi. During the meeting, both sides reviewed possibilities of expanding exports and discussed the prospects of active cooperation to realize the existing potential of the Gwadar Port. The two sides also discussed the possibilities of financial cooperation to enable Pakistan to exploit energy, sanitation and mineral resources judiciously. Earlier on his arrival in Pakistan, the Saudi minister along with his delegation was received by ministers Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Syed Ali Haider Zaidi at Gwadar Airport. Deputy Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Habibullah Bukhari was present on the occasion. The visiting dignitary was given a briefing by GPA Chairman Dosteen Khan and GDA Director General Dr. Sajjad Baloch about the Gwadar Port and the development projects at the China Complex. It may be added that the objective of the Saudi minister’s visit is to finalize the proposed agreements and modalities to implement and enhance the cooperation between the two states in the fields of oil refining, petrochemical, mining and renewable energy in Pakistan.
Trudeau’s Tory rival pledges balanced budget in 5 years
OTTAWA: Canada’s Conservative leader and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s main rival in upcoming elections pledged Friday to balance the government’s budget within five years, backtracking on a previous target.
An average of several recent polls gives the Tories a six percentage point lead over the Liberals ahead of the October ballot.
Andrew Scheer previously vowed that balancing the budget could be done within two years, but now claims “Trudeau has made an even bigger mess of the budget than I thought possible.
“And he has made the job of cleaning it up that much more difficult,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Club in Vancouver.
Canada’s economy surged after the Liberals took office in 2015 and unleashed a massive stimulus. But growth is forecast to slow this year.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau in his March budget pointed to 900,000 new jobs created since 2015 and the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years.
The government’s fiscal deficit, however, is projected to balloon to Can$19.8 billion (US$14.7 billion) — after Trudeau abandoned his 2015 pledge to run a few small deficits and return to balance this year.
Still, Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio is lower than its G7 counterparts and is expected to fall over the coming years from the current 30.7 percent.
Scheer said, “even the most optimistic projections don’t have the Liberals balancing the budget for 20 more years.”
“But if Canadians elect a Conservative government this fall, we will balance the budget in about a quarter of that time,” he said.
Canada unveils air passenger bill of rights
OTTAWA: Airline passengers in Canada will soon be eligible for significant compensation for delayed flights or lost baggage under regulations announced Friday by Transportation Minister Marc Garneau.
The measures follow a rising number of complaints about being stuck on the tarmac for hours, musical instruments being broken in transit and lost baggage.
“Our goal was to provide a world-leading approach to air passenger rights that would be predictable and fair for passengers while ensuring our air carriers remain strong and competitive,” Garneau said.
“These new regulations achieve that balance and will give air travelers the rights and treatment they pay for and deserve.”
Starting July 15, airlines will be required to disembark passengers after three hours on the tarmac if there is no prospect of taking off soon.
They would also need to compensate passengers bumped from overbooked flights up to Can$2,400 (US$1,800) and up to Can$2,100 for lost luggage.
As of December 15, additional measures will require airlines to pay passengers up to Can$1,000 for flight delays and cancellations, provide food, drink and accommodations, and rebook them on new flights — using competing airlines if necessary.
They would also have to seat children near a parent at no extra charge and develop new standards for transporting musical instruments.
The latter was in response to travelling musicians complaining on social media about broken guitars and other instruments during flights.
The rules apply to flights to, from and within Canada.
According to Canada’s government statistics agency, there are an average of 5.5 million take-offs and landings at Canada’s 91 airports each year.
Due to its vast geography, air transportation is crucial for connecting parts of the country. A flight from easternmost to westernmost Canada takes about eight hours.
Trade worries encourage bears in Tokyo bourse
TOKYO: Stocks here opened lower today on worries over the US-China trade war as bellicose rhetoric persisted between Washington and Beijing, pushing the safe-haven yen higher against the dollar.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.94 percent, or 199.04 points, to 20,952.10 in early trade, while the broader Topix Index was down 0.86 percent or 13.26 points at 1,527.32.
The US market “dropped sharply as worries intensified over the US-China trade war after China’s commerce ministry spokesperson said the US should correct its actions if it hopes to continue trade negotiations,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.
The Tokyo market “is seen falling significantly at the beginning following falls in the US and a higher yen,” he said.
On Thursday, China warned the United States that it must show “sincerity” if trade talks are to continue between the world’s top two economies.
“If the US wants to continue to talk, it should show sincerity and correct its mistaken actions. Only on the basis of equality and respect can the negotiations have the chance of continuing,” commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing.
The trade dispute has snowballed into a tech war, with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei at the epicenter of a battle for supremacy in technologies that could shape the future of the world economy, such as next-generation 5G networks in which the Chinese firm is a global leader.
In Washington, US President Donald Trump for the first time linked a dispute over Huawei, which he views as a threat to American security, with a deal to resolve the US-China trade war.